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I Returned to Give Back to Those Who Saved My Life!

Hi, my name is Brianna Parsons, Marketing Intern at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

How I ended up here is not quite like any other employee as I was a patient at Children’s for 15 years.

Twenty-one years ago, I was born at 25 weeks, due to my twin sister dying as she was getting less oxygen than me. I did not have an airway, so I received a breathing tube (trache) shortly after I was born. A couple of years later, the doctors at Children’s built an airway for me, but it didn’t hold. One night at Children’s after the airway reconstruction surgery, I quit breathing, and I was resuscitated back to life. I then had to have a trache reinstalled as I could not breathe on my own. When I was four, I had a second airway reconstruction surgery done by Dr. Goebel at Children’s. This surgery was successful and my trache was removed. I endured countless doctor appointments, hospital visits, needles and pokes up until I was a teenager.

Being in the health care environment, I wanted to be a nurse to help people the way my doctors helped me.

When I was 15, my parents and I noticed a raspiness in my breathing and increased coughing, so the doctor who built my airway the second time performed tests on me, and she suggested I go to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio to have airway refinement surgery.

During my time as a patient, I endured many obstacles which led me to not want to be a nurse anymore. But I still wanted to help children. At that point in my life, I did not know what to do as my dream came to an end. I was confused, scared, and lost. Hope was instilled in me when my journalism teacher at the time told me I could use my writing skills to share children’s stories in the hospital.

That led me to want to be a photojournalist and having a dream of working at Children’s!  I wanted to help improve every child’s life and give back to Children’s as their team of doctors literally saved my life, so I was determined to work at the hospital one day.

About a year ago, I reached out to the marketing department and asked about potential internship opportunities.

After some discussion, trial and error, a lot of patience, resilience, and persistence, I finally landed the role of Marketing Intern. Some days I cannot even believe it is a reality, but that just shows how much persistence, hard work, and determination can and will take you as long as you want the dream bad enough!

During my time in the Marketing Department at Children’s, I have created blog posts, scheduled social media posts for events, took pictures of Sansa & Frito (Children’s facility dogs), and be another helping hand in improving the lives of children!

Mark Wilson, M.D, was on call the night that my heart stopped. Twenty years later, I was able to formally meet him!  I heard his story of dedication to children over the years, how he started pediatric care and a little about his personal life. His specialty was pediatric pulmonology, primarily working with patients having respiratory, allergy or sleep difficulties.

“It is gratifying being able to help somebody with a respiratory problem, either to understand or treat it,” Dr. Wilson stated. “Part of the blessing of being a physician is meeting a patient at their worst and then their best. Those intercessions aren’t always planned, but knowing that there is a trust given in the relationship. As a physician, I got to know someone and help them understand a problem to make it better or help them work through the problem.”

I never truly met Dr. Wilson in the hospital as I was almost two years old when he treated me. Being able to thank him for helping save my life was an unforgettable moment. He recalls my story but being able to see me grown up was his greatest joy. “It is fun to see someone who has been through everything that Brianna has gone through”, Dr. Wilson elaborated. “It is gratifying to see how her adult life is blossoming; it is one of the reasons I chose pediatrics health and development – to see patients better [than they were]!”

Scroll down to see some awesome pictures!


I next to a beanie baby at 2 months old.
Me after getting my breathing tube (trache) out and happy that I could breathe on my own!(:
Me posing in front of a Children’s sign.
Me in my home city of Omaha!
Dr. Wilson & I after my life was saved by him and other doctors.
Dr. Wilson & I meeting 20 years later!